Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tomorrow is the Start of My Traditional, Bridge, Non-Traditional and Special Needs Curriculum Reviews!

My 2012 Curriculum reviews continue tomorrow with the start of my Traditional Curriculum Reviews! All week I'll be reviewing curriculum - Traditional, Bridge, Non-Traditional and Special Needs Curriculum. Just a few things to keep in mind -

  • Traditional Curriculum Teaching Resources. Traditional Curriculum Teaching Resources focus on the teacher, “teaching” the Bible. Traditional Curriculum typically has age-graded teacher books, visual resources, student books and take-home papers.  It is designed for the teacher to, “teach” and the student to mostly listen and write things on paper although I'm happy to say, more often now publishers are adding features to engage children in the lesson in a more active manner.  Traditional curriculum will have a set, through the Bible scope and sequence which is one of its strengths, being Biblically grounded with a focus on teaching the Bible. One of the biggest challenges of Traditional Curriculum is if the publishers haven't written with more activity, it is not the most effective at engaging children, helping them understand God’s Word, remember God’s Word and be able to live God’s Word. If however, you find a traditional curriculum is the best "fit" for your ministry then be ready to add more activity to engage the children if the publishers have not already done so.
  • Bridge curriculum. This curriculum “blends” features of both traditional and non-traditional curriculum and makes an excellent curriculum for churches where they have utilized traditional curriculum in the past and want to move to a more effective tool, but think the “jump” to non-traditional curriculum is too difficult for their church to make. Strength of Bridge Curriculum – Allows volunteers to begin to use more active teaching with their kids to involve them in the lesson. Biggest Challenge of Bridge Curriculum – Some volunteers will stick to the traditional teaching model they know with the teaching time and student books rather than try the learning centers.
  • Non-Traditional Curriculum Teaching Resources.  Non-traditional curriculum focuses on the student “learning” the Bible.  Active learning, open-ended questions with a focus on application are key components of non-traditional curriculum.  This curriculum may or may not have teacher books, visual resources and student materials, but it is designed to get kids up and moving so they will experience the lesson, remember the lesson, understand the lesson and live the lesson.  Non-Traditional curriculum most often has a topical curriculum scope and sequence where it focuses on teaching specific Bible truths. Strength of Non-Traditional Curriculum – Biblically grounded with a focus on truly involving kids so they will learn. Biggest Challenge of Non-Traditional Curriculum – If volunteers do not understand how to use the curriculum they may end up extremely frustrated as the “tools” are different than those in the traditional curriculum they are used to.  You must have volunteers who are gifted with teaching and are willing to teach in non-traditional manners.  They also need to be willing to adapt and modify the curriculum as many times the activity really doesn't connect with the lesson and they will need to be able to make those connections.
  • Special Needs Curriculum - It can be difficult to find Special Needs Curriculum, but I do have one I will share with you. I will also share some ideas on how to adapt whatever curriculum you do use to fit the needs of children with special needs.

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